ALLEGATIONS OF JUDICIAL BLACKMAIL ROCK INVESTIGATION OF SOUTH CAROLINA SPEAKER
South Carolina Circuit Court judge Casey Manning is expected to rule any day now whether the public corruption investigation of powerful S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell can proceed in criminal court.
In fact his ruling is expected shortly before 5:00 p.m. on Friday (May 9).
Our sources tell us the fix is already in regarding Manning’s ruling … but a seismic development could derail the Speaker’s latest effort to evade accountability for his actions.
Specifically, multiple sources tell FITS the Speaker is holding a “damning revelation” over Manning’s head – effectively blackmailing the judge into doing his bidding. We’re also told S.C. Chief Justice Jean Toal – whose reelection Harrell stands accused of rigging – is actively participating in the alleged blackmail scheme.
You read that right … the Palmetto State’s most powerful judge and its most powerful legislator have been accused of conspiring to blackmail the judge who will decide Harrell’s fate.
S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson – who referred Harrell’s case to a statewide grand jury back in January – is pushing hard to continue the investigation into Harrell. According to Wilson, his probe has uncovered likely criminal activity (beyond the evidence that’s already been publicly submitted).
Harrell’s lawyers say Wilson has no authority to investigate Harrell – arguing that only the corrupt S.C. House Ethics Committee has the authority to do that.
Manning has previously ruled along those lines – sending a corruption case involving S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley to the same “cover-up committee.” Not surprisingly, that decision led to this infamous whitewash of a broad and well-documented corruption case against Haley.
Ah, justice in South Carolina …
We wonder … was Manning also blackmailed then?
When FITS first began investigating Manning in 2012, we uncovered multiple allegations of substance abuse issues – including rumors that the veteran judge had a cocaine problem. We also uncovered a relationship Manning was having with a producer at a local television station.
Could one of these things be the “dirty little secret” being held over the judge’s head?
Our founding editor is no stranger to the drug rumors surrounding Manning: He worked with him at the University of South Carolina’s sports information office in the late 1990s and was very familiar with the allegations.
The rumblings surrounding Manning intensified after an erratic appearance at a 2005 attorney’s conference – in which multiple lawyers tell us the judge appeared to be high on the drug during a presentation ceremony.
“He was as high as a kite,” one attorney who attended the trial lawyer gathering told FITS. “It was the talk of the event.”
Additionally multiple state legislators tell FITS they uncovered “substantiated drug allegations” involving Manning during his most recent legislative screening process, but were pressured to “screen him out” regardless.
Among those allegedly applying the pressure on Manning’s behalf? Harrell and Toal.
Most damning as far as we’re concerned? A source close to Harrell’s political operation confirmed to FITS that a blackmail effort involving Manning was indeed underway – and that the ruling Harrell wanted was already “in the bag.”
In fact Harrell was so confident Manning would refer his case back to the S.C. House, our source said, he was already actively plotting retribution against his political enemies.
Obviously what Manning does in his personal life is his business – we don’t begrudge him that. But if something in his personal life is being held over his head in such a way as to impact his official duties – that’s a very big deal.
Especially in a case of this magnitude …
Hopefully Manning will not kowtow to this sort of pressure and intimidation – particularly seeing as his retirement is imminent. Hopefully he will do the right thing and permit the investigation of Harrell to continue.
Anything short of that – regardless of the personal consequences he may endure – is cowardice.
Even if there is no blackmail, the U.S. Dept. of Justice should be following this case, as the law is basically being made up on the go.
Thanks, ‘sharon’. ‘fly’ shit everywhere in SC!
No problem, Bobby. Hope this work out for you. Could be a real drag spending your golden years in the clink. You know what they say: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
CONWAY — An Horry County jury ruled in favor of Myrtle Beach area lobbyist Mark Kelley against The Sun News and investigative reporter David Wren on claims Kelley was defamed in articles written in 2010 about campaign contributions made a year earlier.
The jury awarded $400,000 in actual damages and $250,000 in punitive damages against the newspaper and Wren. The jury deliberated for more than four hours before reaching unanimous verdicts on the two types of damages.
Kelley filed the suit in May 2012 against Wren and The Sun Publishing Co., seeking actual damages to compensate for “his loss of and/or damage to his good name, his personal and business reputation,” according to the suit.
Oh my! Just in. No wonder the ‘fly’ is apparently hiding. He chased and slandered EVERY politician in MB/HORRY COUNTY,with the help of Wren, that supported the MBACC. Kelley is a good and fair man.
Justice.Those on this Bobby Harrell “gig”, should take note. :-)
Your Bubba Scooter logic doesn’t work or make a lick of sense, that’s why they call it Bubba Scooter logic. You have the attention span of that of a gnat. The precedent in this case has already been set, wake up Scooter, it’s over, it’s over …uh uh uh …it’s over.
Bobby and his cronies own conduct … I am going to sue Harrell for 10 million dollars.
Different fact pattern. Not on point. Keep fantasizing, Sandy.
Scooter, are you having a prison fetish again? You are trying so hard to sound intelligent, however, you sound dumb as a rock. No one gives a crap about the phantom “what they say”
Who the f*ck is Scooter? More importantly, who the f*ck are you?
You know who you are scooter, the fantasyman in fantasyland.
its Trey Harrell, the semi retarded son of Bobby..didn’t you know he posts every time after a slick Bobby article is posted?
No Trey Harrell here, guess again. Hey Scooter, I have an idea, why don’t you just make something up ….oh wait….
I am employed by Bobby. Tell that to the Greenville News and the Sun.
Scooter, coulda, woulda, shoulda….I think you are making things up on the go.
“I want you to tell them (The Sun News) to quit taking their pen and using it as a sword and slashing the flesh of a reputation,” Kelley’s attorney, Jim Stevens, said during his closing statement Thursday morning……
Stevens told jurors that the FBI and IRS investigated the contributions and no arrests have been made or indictments issued in the case.
Read more here: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2014/05/08/4215673/horry-county-jury-rules-in-favor.html?sp=/99/209/&ihp=1#storylink=cpy
Nice job, Buz Martin! What a fool! I told ya . Don’t doubt this Bobby Harrell stuff ain’t but a bunch of political BULLSHIT and MAY get somebody SUED! :-)
Is that why he has already returned more than $20,000? Just a bunch of BS?
It was all just a huge misunderstanding.
Sued my ass. You sound like Bobby’s slut wife spewing off. Federal Arrest Warrants will come in due time. And that is no BULLSHIT. Harrell and Manning BOTH can share a prison cell for all we care.
Jean Toal OWNS Casey Manning. He will do exactly as she tells him to do. Toal has covered all the complaints against Manning when they come into the her little Gestapo, her Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC).
The question now is whether or not Toal has tired of covering Bobby Harrell. She got what she wanted and he can’t help her any more. If Leatherman says, okay, then Harrell, she is selling your ass out.
Total bullshit. Manning is not running for reelection. He couldn’t care less about Harrell as he doesn’t need any votes in the legislature. The judge likes his bourbon but the rest is nonsense.
Toal can make his retirement hell. Manning wants to double dip. Be retired and work the bench for the extra cash. Manning likes traveling around the state drinking good Bourbon and telling stories. He loves gossip of any sort – sexual, political and alcoholic.UnlikeToal, most people like Manning. Sort of like a black Frank Epps.
Toal is going to find out when she is finally kicked out that no one wants to be in her presence or talk with her about anything.
Both are pathological narcissist, like Hughston.
Scooter, you don’t know Jackcrap about what Toal owns or doesn’t own or Judge Manning. The fact of the matter is Judge Manning is going to rule based on precedent and the law ….uh uh uh ….Duh….
And the hell with the State Constitution!
She owns him? Kind of like a slave master owns a slave?
Some strong rumors persisted about judges 20 years ago before I left the loop. They had some weird actions to say the least.
Luke Brown was always so full of hate and anger. Unstable and moody, to say the least. He did not like the Supreme Ct slapping down his rulings, and was quite vocal at times about it with certain people.
Hey, I have an idea scooter, why don’y you have a conversation with yourself …. oh wait….
On a brighter note, the ten “most corrupt” state listing were out today.
Alas, Georgia beat South Carolina again, they are NO.1!
No way! We are SO much worse than them.
Scooter, you are right, you are way worse than them. I have a visual with your butt hanging out of the back of your pants with your crack showing, kinda like Bubba Scooter.
Sickening… Is there NO justice in this state? Harrell already planning RETRIBUTION? I feel like the year is 1925 and the KKK has just finished its annual convention in Charleston, including the castration of a black man named Manning.
Scooter, if you only knew what you were talking about then you would make some sense. There is something called precedent and the law, something that you know very little about. Interestingly, the same dumb legal advisors that advised Trikki that set the precedent in the first place are the same dumb legal advisors advising Wilson to pursue a Grand Jury investigation against Harrell for similiar ethics violations. How much of taxpayer dollars$$$ has Wilson spent on a frivilous prosecution of Harrell, MILLIONS$$$$$.
I say an FOIA is in order to determine how much Wilson has wasted of taxpayers dollars$$$$ on his podunk Grand Jury investigation of alleged ethics violatons. It’s obvious that Judge Manning will rule based on precedent and the law. ….uh uh uh ….Duh….
You’re a troll for satan.
No he’s Trey Harrell, victim of eating too much lead paint as a child.
I may have eaten too much lead paint as a child, however, I’m not Trey Harrell, guess again.
Are you Bobby Harrell?
Hey tater bubba scooter salad, don’t think so.
I work for Harrell.
Playing the race card, are ya? Guess what Scooter, it’s not 1925 and your podunk little scheme is not going to work, it’s obvious that legal precedent is going to win the day, BTW, shouldn’t a freakin’ Attorney General know that? Really? Shouldn’t Wilson know the law? If he doesn’t, he’s incompetent or worse. When this case is decided, Wilson is going to look incompetent. BTW, does anyone remember Wilson pounding on Harrell’s Chief of Staff’s desk, I think that says it all, they must have kept him in daycare too long when he was a child.
Forwarding this Fits story to the producers for the Mark Levin show and every other national talk show host in the USA. South Carolina will see dozens of federal agents from other states move in and raid offices, homes, and even the SC Supreme Court house. Lets TAKE DOWN these lawless rogues once and for all. The time is now. Suit up. Fed Agents are going to raid. Nettles has been kept in the dark the entire time, and for good reason. Toal will sink with the ship. Harrell is like a mad rabid dog. But his days are now numbered.
SCOOTER, I have an idea, why don’t you make something up….oh wait….
Scooter, the Circus only comes to town once a year, you’re going to have to pack up your tent soon and move on.
Totally invented and 100% BS. There is no federal question here and there never will be.
Leaked: 3 Former SC State Attorney General to file federal complaints asking for federal criminal investigation into Harrell scandal. Leaked: Secret petition among South Carolina voters has started circulating, which already has 15,000 signatures, demanding SC House Speaker Bobby Harrell to resign.
WRONG SCOOTER: Your post is completely false. 3 Former SC State Attorney General ARE NOT going to file federal complaints asking for federal criminal investigation into Harrell scandal. NO “secret petition among South Carolina voters has started circulating”, There is NO petition that has signatures, demanding SC House Speaker Bobby Harrell to resign. NONE.
Woooooooooo, Pigs ! Sooie!
Woooooooooo, Pigs ! Sooie!
Woooooooooo, Pigs ! Sooie!
Are YOU from freakin’ Arkansas? …otherwise you have no excuse, you pig.
Gotcha!! That call works every time – heh, heh.
And it only took ten minutes!
As I said, that pig call only works in Arkansas, around here, if you look like a pig, walk like a pig, and you squeal like a pig, then you’re a pig.
Congratulations! You got the point of the Razorback cheer. This is meant as a humorous jab towards all of the actors in this soap opera – Harrell, Manning, and so on!
Actually, that’s not the point of the Razorback cheer, you idiot. The Razorback cheer is for team spirit and as a mascot. You were calling everyone pigs, own it.
Watching SC’s rich honky white insiders play that coon judge like a monkey — like they’re organ grinders — isn’t really funny. It’s sick.
Scooter, playing the race card at the last hour, are ya? How low can you go? Is that the best you got? Is that your “A” game? Really? Really? Attacking the Judge? You’re a freakin idiot. Wilson and his dumb legal advisors are about to hit rock bottom out of their own greed, hubris, and stupidity. Wilson’s dumb legal advisors must have been paid a lot of money$$$$$ to be that dumb.
bottom line: haley and her ally, wilson, tried to steal the rackets from harrell. this is a mafia turf war, pure and simple.fitsnews is exposing itself by pretending that this is about corruption. actually this is themost pathetic and desperate tactic that team haley/wilson has pulled thus far. they must have nohting else. harrell outmaneuvered them by going to toal for protetion. they thought stealing harrell’s rackets would be as easy as duping the braindead SC repblican electorate. and they must be really desperate if they think fatass fits is going to save them wth his hysterical articles. only fatass fits could write about harrll floating conspirac theories and then float this turd in the punchbowl, not to mention accusing someone else of being a drug addict. only fatass fits is that shameless and transparent. this also shows that haley and wilson are really not very smart and ruled by their own hubris. it also exposes fitsnews as doing the obvious bidding of haley, because haley is the one directing the war against harell through wilson. haley is the only person brazen enough to think sh could get rid of harrell and steal his rackets, using the same strategy against harrell that she is guilty of and got away with. thats how you knw its haley. also, she’s using her “ethics reform” campaignpartner-who took $28,000 from swindler briebart- as a sword and shield. so when harrell retaliates he’ll go after wilson first. though not exceptionally clever, haley is very good at protecting herself using dumb pawns
You watch too much TV. Other than despising Harrell and wishing him ill, like the rest of us, Haley can do nothing about the little prick. She’s a bystander hoping he falls.
PS: Brevity is the soul of wit.
Scooter, is that all you got left in the tank? “She’s a bystander hoping he falls” Really? No one is that dumb.
Spot on. BAM! …BA-BAM!… Wilson’s Grand Jury scheme against Harrell is just about ready to implode, not only that but it’s also exposed Wilson for the hack that he is as well as his own campaign finance abuses. Judge Manning is going to send Wilson packing and Wilson is going to look like a Grade A number one idiot.
If you see Bobby Harrell on the street or in a public place. Punch him in the that fat stomach of his. It would be well worth the 30 days in jail for doing it.
That’s what a Bubba Scooter would do, tag you’re it.
And do not forget that Jean Toal likes to play with Bobby’s ding-a-ling.
Scooter, write that down before you forget it! ….oh wait….
BTW, Scooter has gone anonymous
Has anyone ever claimed a ruling for Harrell here would completely shut Wilson down? Can’t Wilson indict Harrell on criminal charges (not ethics charges) and completely sidestep this mess?
Wishful thinking Scooter.
Actually yes, the ruling that is already baked in the cake would completely shut SC AG Wilson down, the rest is history Scooter. Maybe you can pull out your magic wand and make something happen or have you misplaced your magic wand? I know, why don’t you use your crystal ball, that should work, please keep us posted on what you see.
Red is the new black in SC. Bobby Harrell’s tomato-face and herpes-lips.
Hey Will, remember 6 months ago when you said there was no difference between Toal and Pleicones? You stupid fuck
I am 95% of the time in agreement with Sic. I knew immediately that this stupid comment you reference here was planted in Sic’s brain by Tom Davis.
Tom and Wes Hayes were two of the biggest fish bought off by Toal. It’s only a matter of time before we find out what their prizes were/are….. Tom’s stock went way down in Beaufort County. Wes will either retire of just lose next time.
Very true. Toal is corrupt to the core and if we had a real attorney general instead of a political hack both Harrell and Toal would be indicted by now.
I’d love to see these guys kicked to the curb, but it won’t happen.
Republicans, Democrats, Lindsey, Nikki, Harrell, all of them… they’re here to stay because voters buy their bullshit.
You have to be busted for drugs, like T-Rav, do loose your job around here. These fools are way worse than coke-heads.
Waiting for Uncle Tom’s ruling…
There is something bad wrong with your thought process
Bobbie be my master. He treat me well, know what I be saying. He slip me envelope stuff with lots of greenbax.
Were you there? No one has ever suggest that, except you Scooter, sounds like something you would do. Whoever smelled it, dealt it!
One thing not in question: Casey Manning being the worst color guy in all of sports. Yes, that list includes Tommy Suggs.
Actually, it’s Will Merritt. Forgot about him:
1) Will Merritt
2) Casey Manning
3) Bob Uecker’s color man in Major League
While under the influence of alcohol, Jean Toal has been making rulings from the bench. Her trash cans produce many empty bottles of alcohol. It was sorted by the collecting dudes and held for a special pickup by sleuths.
Weirdo Bubba Scooter at work.
Toal doesn’t need alcohol to sustain her corruption. Her sociopathic-narcissistic personality takes care of all she does. Do not blame her actions on alcohol. Street talk is, she has a few more to prosecute-persecute before she leaves.
We were laughing our butts off last night at Toal’s selection of Cal Watson as her last president of the SC BAR. Watson works with (for) Betsy Grey. They make nearly $1.5 million a year representing lawyers in trouble with Toal. However, these lawyers always get away with private reprimands after Betsy has a drink with Toal and chats about these cases. Their punishment is paying STL&G’s fees. There have a couple of BAR presidents in the past 8 years who asked Toal to clean up the corruption in her ODC. She is not about to do that, so she got a BAR president she can absolutely control this year.
I was not invited to Cal’s coronation party at STL&G this week, but the pictures online show it was GRAND!
The message of the Book of Job is that there is no justice in this world but that God expects every person to be just to his fellow man, and do what is right. Job suffered mightily, losing everything — including family, home, animals, and health — but remained faithful to God, knowing that there is justice before his maker.
South Carolina’s citizens, mostly decent and honest people, seem like Job at the hands of its government — where there has been no justice and the prospect of justice is remote. This is unnecessary, though. If citizens insist and persist on change in state government, through the ballot box and enforcement of the law, there is hope.
Judge Manning is near retirement; he can leave a legacy of righteousness by following the law and allowing the Attorney General to prosecute Harrell. That would be, perhaps, the most important good deed in his life.
But if he sends this case to oblivion — the corrupt House Ethics Committee — he will become part of the heavy, incomprehensible burden to his fellow man in this poor, wretched state. Something to really pray over.
Something to really pray over? …burden to his fellow man in this poor, wretched state. …Really Scooter? …What’s wrong with you Scooter?…Something to really pray over……Really Scooter?
Go to hell, troll. I know who you are and I know where you live. I would shut my mouth now if I were you.
You need to quit your day job and write fiction instead. In fact, if you meet me at the rest stop on I-26 just outside Summerville, SC, I will show you how my Hoover Vacuum works — *wink wink*
You know you’re crazy when you speak to yourself and then you speak back, you’re freakin’ crazy Scooter
Something to really pray over…..
You’re a mean-spirited, contemptuous jerk.
I know I am. I also enjoy licking Bobby’s golf balls.
Now you are having a conversation with yourself.
All of you need to stay away from my man, Bobby Harrell. The only one bobbing on Bobby’s Bob is me!
You’re faking your identity badly now, comments very dumb. Please stop.
Who cares if I am high on the bottle ….. and butt crack.
That’s right, who cares?
Just Like A Good Neighbor, State Farm Insurance Agent Bobby Harrell is there. Boycotting State Farm will not hurt the business. State Farm has Bobby in it’s pocket.
In the land of Scooterville, it is what Scooter says it is. It’s called Scooter make believe, you’ve almost convinced yourself, keep trying, you’re almost there.
My man and no tell lover, Bobby Harrell is so wonderful. Just look at him here in my favorite video. He is so fucking hot! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoixXWOU_TQ
Doing youtube research again Scooter? Now we know the source of all your information, part fantasy and part youtube and then BAM! ,,,,the land of Scooterville… hahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAH ,,,,now that’s freakin’ funny.
Hey Bobby? Its ok, man. It will be alright. They have cable tv in federal prison. And a tennis court. Pool tables. And an exercise yard! So why are your doing this in this video, Bobby? Prison is not so bad. You will get out in 10 or 15 years. You can do that standing on your head, Bobby! >>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds_R7VVhGFM
Seems like you know a lot about prison, they haven’t let you out in the exercise yard lately, have they?
Scooter, you may come back in from the exercise yard now.
The Corruption in South Carolina’s government permeates everything that happens politically. Graft and waste are so prevalent that Nepotism has become commonplace, and accepted as the price of hearing the sound bites the populace has been told they are paying for.
How can a person like Harrell be considered such an anomaly in the cesspool that has so inured the populace to corruption? Why go to the trouble of classifying the players into “floaters” and “sinkers”, when everyone knows that flushing out the current contents will simply be followed by another bowl full of Republican effluvia?
“The idea that the attorney general can’t launch a corruption investigation of a legislator without the blessing of that legislator’s colleagues is not giving the benefit of the doubt to the legislator. It’s giving away the farm. It’s emasculating the attorney general, and with him the people of South Carolina.” ~~~~ Cindi Ross Scoppe (The State).
Manning rules in Harrell’s favor, he faces federal criminal charges. Its as plain and simple as that.
Watch asshat. You’re full of shit. There will be no indictments.
Thanks for that quote. I found it in today’s State editorial, which includes:
“The pending judicial ruling is so worrisome that one of the
Legislature’s most respected voices on ethics pulled me aside Thursday
to note how insane that line of defense is, as preface to saying that
the House absolutely must prevent any such future miscarriages
of justice, by adding language to make it absolutely clear beyond
anybody’s doubt that the attorney general has full jurisdiction over
criminal ethics violations. As he already does but at least one judge
seems to think he might not. I’m not holding my breath.”
A potty-mouth named Guero says below “there will be no indictments.”
Please cite the authority (? state constitution ?) that leads you to your conclusion which is opposite to Guero’s.
Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2014/05/11/3437474/scoppe-house-plan-gives-us-less.html?sp=/99/168/#storylink=cpy
That’s just it Scooter, there are NO criminal indictments. There is only a ethics complaint, wake up ….wake up … it will be over soon……
The Attorney General of South Carolina deserves to be emasculated, it’s obvious. SC AG is ignoring precedent and the law, that’s what you call an ignoramous.
…precedent and the law…
Hello there anonymous. See my question below about precedent and the law. Since you call the AG an ignoramous, presumably you know more about precedent and the law than he does, so please cite here the specific precedent and law. I hope you are correct. We could all benefit from this information.
Rainey v. Haley
Opinion Summary: Appellant John Rainey sued the Honorable Nikki Haley, Goveror of South Carolina, seeking a declaration that the Governor violated the State Ethics Act when she was a member of the House of Representatives. The circuit court dismissed the action for lack of jurisdiction, finding the House Ethics Committee had exclusive jurisdiction to hear ethics complaints against its members. The Supreme Court agreed and affirmed.
Anonymous, that decision found for, not against, the legislator, and didn’t involve the AG, so I don’t see how it could be a precedent in the Harrell case. (Also, wasn’t the judge in the Rainey case the exact same judge in this case?)
House Ethics Committee has EXCLUSIVE jurisdiction. Legislature granted exclusive authority to the House Ethics Committee to hear such matters.
The cardinal rule of statutory construction is to ascertain and effectuate the intent of the legislature. Hodges v. Rainey, 341 S.C. 79, 85, 533 S.E.2d 578, 581 (2000).
“Where the statute’s language is plain and unambiguous, and conveys a clear and definite meaning, the rules of statutory interpretation are not needed and the court has no right to impose another meaning.” Id. (“Under the plain meaning rule, it is not the court’s place to change the meaning of a clear and unambiguous statute.”).
South Carolina circuit courts are vested with original jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases, except those cases in which exclusive jurisdiction shall be given to inferior courts, and shall have such appellate jurisdiction as provided by law. S.C. Const. art. V, § 11. “In determining whether the Legislature has given another entity exclusive jurisdiction over a case, a court must look to the relevant statute.”
Dema v. Tenet Physician Servs.-Hilton Head, Inc., 383 S.C. 115, 121, 678 S.E.2d 430, 433 (2009).
The Legislature has established a comprehensive statutory scheme for regulating the behavior of elected officials, public employees, lobbyists, and other individuals who present for public service. See generally S.C. Code Ann. §§ 2-17-5 to -150
S.C. Code Ann. §§ 8-13-100 to -1520. To enforce the State Ethics Act, the Legislature statutorily created the State Ethics Commission and the Senate and House Legislative Ethics Committees, respectively. See S.C. Code Ann. §§ 8-13-310 and -510.
Although the State Ethics Commission is generally responsible for the handling of ethical violations by most public officials and employees, the House and Senate Legislative Ethics Committees are charged with the exclusive responsibility for the handling of ethics complaints involving members of the General Assembly and their staff. See S.C. Code Ann. § 8-13-530 (noting the Ethics Committees are authorized to receive and hear complaints regarding ethical violations of members or staff of the appropriate house); S.C. Code Ann. § 8-13-320(9) (noting the Ethics
Commission is authorized to initiate or receive complaints and make investigations concerning public officials or public employees, except those concerning members or staff of the General Assembly). The respective Committees are authorized to receive, investigate, and hear all complaints alleging a violation of the State Ethics.
Finally, the South Carolina Constitution and this Court have expressly recognized and respected the Legislature’s authority over the conduct of its own members. See, e.g., Const. Art. 3, § 11 (stating each house has the authority to judge the election returns and qualifications of its own members); Const. Art. 3, § 12 (providing that each chamber shall determine its own rules of procedure, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and expel a member); see also Stone v. Leatherman, 343 S.C. 484, 541 S.E.2d 241 (2001) (finding court did not have jurisdiction over election result in light of Article 3, § 11 of the Constitution that provides the Senate has the authority to judge the election returns and qualifications of its own members); Scott v. Thorton, 234 S.C. 19, 106 S.E.2d 446 (1959) (finding the court had no jurisdiction in light of the constitutional provisions that require each house to judge the election returns and qualifications of its own members). Consequently, a court’s exercise of jurisdiction over Appellant’s ethical complaint against Governor Haley would not only contravene the clear language of the State Ethics Act, it would also violate separation of powers.6 See S.C. Const. art. I, § 8 (“In the government of this State, the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of the government shall be forever separate and distinct from each other, and no person or persons exercising the functions of one of said departments shall assume or discharge the duties of any other.”).
In sum, ethics investigations concerning members and staff of the Legislature are intended to be solely within the Legislature’s purview, to the exclusion of the courts.
Its a criminal matter, doofus.
HERE’S HOPING HARRELL HAS A BAD HAIR DAY:
Judge’s decision in Harrell case could come as early as today
By JOHN MONK
May 12, 2014 Updated 3 hours ago
COLUMBIA, SC — A judge’s decision on whether to halt S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson from pursuing a criminal investigation with the state grand jury into allegations concerning how S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell used campaign money could come as early as today.
At a hearing almost two weeks ago, Circuit Judge Casey Manning indicated he would decide the closely-watched legal matter in the near future.
At issue is whether to grant Harrell at least temporary immunity from criminal investigations by the Attorney General in matters involving alleged violations of the state ethics law.
Manning could order Wilson to stop using the state grand jury and refer the matter to the 10-member House Ethics Committee, which is made up of Harrell’s colleagues in the 124-member House.
Or the judge could give the Attorney General and the state grand jury the okay to continue investigating Harrell. Both Wilson and SLED Chief Mark Keel want the investigation.
No matter which way Manning rules, his decision is almost certain to be appealed to the State Supreme Court.
Read more here: